Scottish Summer Masterclass Celebration Day 2012

On Saturday 16 June 2012 nearly 100 pupils from across Scotland descended on Edinburgh for a day of mathematical puzzles and Ri Masterclasses.

  • Credit: Royal Institution

By Julia Collins
5 July 2012

On Saturday 16 June nearly 100 pupils from across Scotland descended on Edinburgh for a day of mathematical puzzles and masterclasses. Some had got up early to take the train from Aberdeen, others got lost driving over from Glasgow and yet more got soaked through walking in the rain from their houses in Edinburgh. But despite the miserable drizzling weather, all the pupils were excited about seeing some new mathematics and the possibility of winning a prize in our lunchtime quiz.

Scotland has masterclasses in Aberdeen, Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and also has a large number of pupils taking part in the UKMT maths challenge each year. We invited pupils from both these categories, so half the pupils who attended our summer celebration had already seen masterclasses before, while half were encountering them for the first time. Our speakers Colin Wright and Steven O’Hagan did a wonderful job of providing thought-provoking problems and highlighting unexpected connections between different areas of maths.

Before the masterclasses the pupils were able to warm up their brains by doing puzzles from the Liverpool FunMaths Roadshow, and even over lunch there was no time to rest as there was a team quiz to be done. There were no complaints from the pupils though, except for one who lamented that their lunch was distracting them from the maths! At the end of the day we also had to improvise extra prizes as there were so many teams who had done well in the quiz.


  • It was a brilliant day and I'm really glad I came.

    Student feedback

  • The masterclasses opened up a new alleyway of maths I hadn't thought about before. Really thought-provoking.

    Student feedback

  • It was a great opportunity to experience a different kind of maths outside school.

    Student feedback

I’d like to send out a big thank you to all the pupils, parents, speakers, helpers and organisers who made our event such a success. It was heart-warming to see so many young people enthusiastic about mathematics and to have many of them ask that the day be made even longer in the future! I hope that our day will be a catalyst for many more similar events to take place across Scotland.